Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Spotlight - The Flywheel by Erin Gough

The Flywheel by Erin Gough is hitting the shelves in February 2015. This stellar young adult novel is the latest winner of HGE’s Ampersand Project for debut YA writers. Gough’s debut novel is so irresistible that she has already been invited to Reading Matters at the State Library of Victoria in May 2015.

Gough describes her girl-meet-girl love story as, “a book that's full of humour and slapstick, while still dealing with important issues like sexuality and identity.” Delilah, the book’s main character, is forced to manage the family cafe at the same time as trying to survive her final year of high school. To top it all off, a misguided crush on one of the cool girls makes Del the school punchline as well.

The thing I so love about The Flywheel is not just that Del is smart, gutsy and totally lacking in pretension,” says Hardie Grant Egmont Publishing Director, Hilary Rogers.  “And it's not just that Del's gay, and totally fine with it. It's that all these elements are just the backdrop of the story, as they are in real life. This is a fresh and warm post-coming-out story for teens. Finally!”

“It’s for anyone who knows the agony of falling in love”, says Gough, who has dreamed of being a writer since before she knew how. “I wrote The Flywheel because I wanted to write the sort of novel that I would’ve liked to read when I was dealing with my own questions of sexuality, identity and ambition. I wanted it to be something that was fun to read (so many coming-out stories are full of tragedy and angst) while still acknowledging the challenges that this period in your life can throw at you.”

Described as “an exciting new voice in Aussie YA” (Danielle Binks), Gough’s debut is certain to get YA readers excited. “It's always a privilege helping a new author bring her novel into being,” says Rogers. “But Erin's skill and calm and humour, even under the piercing editorial spotlight, often made me forget this was Erin's debut.”

Gough won Hardie Grant Egmont’s Ampersand Project in 2013.  She’s in good company, with fellow Ampersand Project winner Melissa Keil recently being nominated for the 2014 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards for Life in Outer Space. Her debut novel was also nominated for a CBCA award in 2014 and won the inaugural Ena Noel award from IBBY Australia.


The FlywheelSeventeen-year-old Delilah’s crazy life is about to get crazier. Ever since her father took off overseas, she’s been struggling to run the family’s cafe without him and survive high school. But after a misjudged crush on one of the cool girls, she’s become the school punch line as well. With all that’s on her plate she barely has time for her favourite distraction – spying on the beautiful Rosa, who dances flamenco at the tapas bar across the road.

Only her best friend Charlie knows how she feels about Rosa, but he has romantic problems of his own. When his plan to win an older woman’s heart goes horribly wrong, Del is the only one who can help Charlie stay out of jail.

All this leaves Del grappling with some seriously curly questions. Is it okay to break the law to help a friend? How can a girl tell another girl she likes her without it ending in humiliation and heartbreak? And – the big one – is it ever truly possible to dance in public without falling over?

About Hardie Grant Egmont
Hardie Grant Egmont (HGE) is a joint venture of Australian company Hardie Grant Publishing and Egmont Books UK. As Australia’s largest independent children’s publisher, HGE prides itself on publishing books kids adore. From award-winning and best-selling series such as Billie B. Brown and Zac Power, to classic titles from Enid Blyton and A.A. Milne, HGE is passionate about making the books kids want to read.


  1. I love that it blends humor and important issues. Thanks for putting this one my radar Sharon :)

  2. I am so excited for this, I know HGE publish great books and I adore the cover :)

    Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist


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